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Women's Underwear - US - December 2009

The U.S. women’s undergarment market has, like many other categories, been affected by the lingering recession affecting every aspect of the U.S. economy. The media covered several similar reports about how the men’s underwear market reflected declining sales because many males avoided replacement purchases during the recession. Journalists humorously noted that while men will wear their undergarments until they are thread-bare, women are not as likely to eschew replacement purchases. Despite the female preference to maintain a respectable underwear collection, growth slowed significantly in 2008 and the beginning half of 2009.

This report offers analysis of the following relevant topics:

  • How manufacturers and retailers are using not only their own websites but also sites like Youtube.com for promotional and advertising purposes
  • How vendors are balancing basics with necessity, and the latest industry buzz-phrase
  • What the latest trends are and where the undergarment market is heading
  • How Victoria’s Secret has acknowledged the recession in its advertising, and whether or not they’ve done so effectively
  • The place of mass merchandisers and how they’re maintaining their top position in sales of women’s undergarments
  • The role of the consumer in the market, including how buying decisions are made and what specific factors are most influential when making purchases

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources and methodology
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising clips
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Market at a glance
                      • Opportunities do exist in the future
                        • Bras remain the leader over other segments
                          • Mass merchandisers continue to reign over the other channels
                            • Advertising remains focused on print ads
                              • Consumers interested in the basics
                                • Style preferences
                                  • Impact of race/Hispanic origin on undergarment purchases and preferences
                                    • Presence of children leads to different undergarment needs
                                    • Insights and Opportunities

                                      • Online channels present new opportunities
                                        • Organic attire adding interest to the category?
                                          • Celebrities with their own lingerie lines
                                          • Inspire Insights

                                              • Ooh la la!
                                                • What we’ve seen
                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Price-value relationship is key factor
                                                      • Sales and forecast of women’ underwear
                                                        • Figure 1: U.S. retail sales of women’s underwear, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                        • Figure 2: U.S. retail sales of women’s underwear, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2004-14
                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                      • Right price more important than ever
                                                        • Recession not dampening new entrants’ spirits
                                                          • Who’s repositioning?
                                                            • Online lingerie sales continue to flourish
                                                            • Segment Performance

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Consumers focus on maintenance
                                                                  • Figure 3: U.S. retail sales of women’s underwear, by segment, 2007 and 2009
                                                              • Segment Performance—Bras

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Bras by far the largest segment
                                                                    • Figure 4: U.S. retail sales and forecast of bras, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                • Segment Performance—Panties

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Sales decline for panties
                                                                      • Figure 5: U.S. retail sales and forecast of panties, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                  • Segment Performance—Daywear

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Daywear sales growth following the pattern of other undergarment segments
                                                                        • Figure 6: U.S. retail sales and forecast of daywear, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                    • Segment Performance—Shapewear

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Shapewear expecting sales increases
                                                                          • Figure 7: U.S. retail sales and forecast of shapewear, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                      • Segment Performance—Other

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • “Other” products fare reasonably well
                                                                            • Figure 8: U.S. retail sales and forecast of other, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                        • Retail Channels

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Mass merchandisers remain in first place
                                                                              • Figure 9: U.S. retail sales of Women’s Underwear, by retail channel, 2007 and 2009
                                                                          • Mass Merchandisers

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Mass merchandisers remain the venue of choice for women’s underwear
                                                                                • Figure 10: Mass merchandiser sales of women’s underwear, 2004-09
                                                                            • Clothing Stores

                                                                              • Key point
                                                                                • Clothing stores relearning how to compete
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Clothing store sales of women’s underwear, 2004-09
                                                                              • Department Stores

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Department stores losing relevance
                                                                                    • Figure 12: Department store sales of women’s underwear, 2004-09
                                                                                • Other Retailers

                                                                                  • Key point
                                                                                    • Other retailers maintain a small share of the market
                                                                                      • Figure 13: Other store sales of women’s underwear, 2004-09
                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                    • Changes in number of women will impact market
                                                                                      • Figure 14: Female population, by age, 2004-14
                                                                                      • Figure 15: U.S. teen population 12 to 17, projected growth trends in five-year intervals from 2000-30
                                                                                    • Recession leading to trade-downs, some of which may be permanent
                                                                                    • Brand Qualities

                                                                                        • Victoria’s Secret
                                                                                          • La Perla
                                                                                            • Agent Provocateur
                                                                                              • Wacoal
                                                                                                • Playtex
                                                                                                  • Hanes
                                                                                                    • Calvin Klein
                                                                                                      • Bali
                                                                                                        • Flexees
                                                                                                        • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                          • The search for perfect cleavage
                                                                                                            • Victoria’s Secret Miraculous Bra
                                                                                                              • Versatility equals value
                                                                                                                • Victoria’s Secret “everyday” collection
                                                                                                                  • Victoria’s Secret BioFit 7-way Bra
                                                                                                                    • A “modest” look becomes all the rage
                                                                                                                      • Bali’s “Concealer” collection
                                                                                                                        • Helping women find the perfect fit
                                                                                                                          • Intimacy Bra Fit Specialists
                                                                                                                          • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                                                              • Bali Bras
                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Television ad, Bali Bras, 2009
                                                                                                                              • Fruit of the Loom Fit For Me
                                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Television ad, Fruit of the Loom Fit For Me, 2009
                                                                                                                              • Playtex Bras
                                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Television ad, Playtex Bras, 2009
                                                                                                                              • Victoria’s Secret
                                                                                                                                • The recession
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Television ad, Victoria’s Secret, 2009
                                                                                                                                • Bio-Fit 7-way bra
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Television ad, Victoria’s Secret, 2009
                                                                                                                                • Dream Angels Push-Up Bra
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Television ad, Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels, 2009
                                                                                                                              • Purchase and Usage of Women’s Underwear

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Overall purchase
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Purchase of women’s underwear, by age, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Purchase of women’s underwear, by household income, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Frequency of purchase
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Frequency of bras purchased, by age, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Frequency of panties purchased, by age, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Brands purchased
                                                                                                                                    • Bras
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Brands of women’s bras purchased, by age, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Brands of women’s bras purchased, by household income, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Panties
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Brands of women’s panties purchased, by age, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Hosiery
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Brands of women’s hosiery purchased, by age, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Frequency of shopping at Victoria’s Secret
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Frequency of shopping at Victoria’s Secret, by age, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Specifics Regarding Women’s Underwear Purchased

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Details around items purchased – bras
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Styles of bra purchased, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Details of bra construction purchased, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Style of bra closure purchased, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Details around items purchased – panties
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Styles of panties purchased, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Material choices for panties purchased, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes and Motivations

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes towards bra shopping
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Attitudes towards bra shopping, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Attitudes towards bra shopping, by household income, September 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Finding the correct fit
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Finding the correct bra fit, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Teen Purchase and Usage of Underwear

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Overall usage
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Purchase of women’s underwear, by teen age groups, October 2007-December 2008
                                                                                                                                          • Frequency of purchase
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Frequency of bras purchased, by teen age groups, October 2007-December 2008
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Frequency of panties purchased, by teen age groups, October 2007-December 2008
                                                                                                                                          • Brands purchased
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Brands of women’s bras purchased, by teen age groups, October 2007-December 2008
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Brands of women’s panties purchased by teens, by age, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Purchase and usage of women’s underwear
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Purchase of women’s underwear, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Brands purchased
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Brands of women’s bras purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Brands of women’s panties purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Brands of women’s hosiery purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Frequency of shopping at Victoria’s Secret, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Details around items purchased – bras
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Types of bras purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Details of bra construction purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Type of bra closure purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Panties
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Types of panties purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Preferred panty materials, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards bra shopping
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Attitudes towards bra shopping, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                              • Full-coverage bra disloyalists
                                                                                                                                                • Un-padded stickers
                                                                                                                                                  • Bikini, thong, and push-up experimenters
                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristic tables
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Bra and panty purchaser clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Purchase of “other” underwear, by bra and panty purchaser clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Bra styles purchased, by bra and panty purchaser clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Bra construction purchased, by bra and panty purchaser clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Bra closure type purchased, by bra and panty purchaser clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Panty styles purchased, by bra and panty purchaser clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Material choices for panties purchased, by bra and panty purchaser clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Attitudes towards bra shopping, by bra and panty purchaser clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Finding the correct bra fit, by bra and panty purchaser clusters, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Demographic tables
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Bra and panty purchaser clusters, by age, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Bra and panty purchaser clusters, by household income, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Bra and panty purchaser clusters, by race, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Bra and panty purchaser clusters, by Hispanic origin, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Bra and panty purchaser clusters, by education, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                    • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Purchasing behavior in general
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Details regarding underwear purchased, by presence of children, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Details around items purchased – shapewear
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Details regarding shapewear purchased, by presence of children, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Details regarding bra purchased, by presence of children, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards bra shopping
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Attitudes towards bra shopping, by presence of children, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Finding the correct bra fit, by presence of children, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Frequency of purchase of bras, by household income, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Brands of women’s panties purchased, by household income, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Frequency of shopping at Victoria’s Secret, by household income, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Frequency of shopping at Victoria’s Secret, by teen age groups, February 2008-March 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                          • American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
                                                                                                                                                          • Bloomingdale's
                                                                                                                                                          • Debenhams Total (GTV)
                                                                                                                                                          • Delta Galil Industries Ltd
                                                                                                                                                          • Donna Karan International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                          • Elle MacPherson Intimates
                                                                                                                                                          • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                          • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                          • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                                                          • Kohl's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                          • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                          • National Textile Association
                                                                                                                                                          • Nordstrom
                                                                                                                                                          • Tommy Hilfiger Corporation
                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                          • Victoria's Secret
                                                                                                                                                          • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                          • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                          Women's Underwear - US - December 2009

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